CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Men's Head Basketball Coach Willis Wilson retired Wednesday.
The Islanders' winningest coach leaves the university after 10 years with a record of 143-170 wins, including three 20-win seasons between 2014 and 2017. He also led the team to back-to-back Southland Conference Tournament appearances.
Wilson, who turned 61 on Monday, said in a release that he has spent 39 years coaching basketball.
"We all go through the wins and losses, and every night there's a basketball game with a winner and loser," he told KRIS 6 News Sports Director Alan Harwell on Wednesday. "But it's all the things that take place behind the scences that have really made this career special for me."
Islanders' athletics director Jon Palumbo credits Wilson with developing his students not only as players, but as men during his time at A&M-CC.
"He has had a tremendous impact here during his 10 years here not only on the basketball court but in the lives of his student athletes," he told Harwell.
The release states Wilson will continue to serve as a special advisor to Palumbo, and that the search for his replacement begins immediately.
"We are going to go out and find the best coach we can get and you know me Alan, I am not exactly a patient guy, but this will be a deliberate process," Palumbo said.
Before coaching at TAMU-CC, the Rice alum served as his alma mater's men's head basketball coach for 16 seasons, amassing a 219-246 record. After briefly leaving to be the head coach at Strake Jesuit Prep School in Houston from 1986-87, he returned to Rice as an assistant coach at Rice. He also was an assistant at Stanford and Memphis.
As for Wilson, he has no immediate plans other than to take it easy.
"I'm not sure what's next," he said. "I am going to take my time and kinda figure it out. Spend some time with my wife and family, and do some traveling, and I will figure it out from there."